Sunday, May 26, 2019
Identity in Literature Essay
You ar not your job youre not how much m unityy you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. Youre not the contents of your w an all the same. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world. In this excerpt from the book Fight smart set by Chuck Palahniuk, the principal(prenominal) character screams this at the group of men standing in front of him while laying down the rules before the premiere fight of the night.This repetitive and forceful series of statements is directly challenging exactly what the men have always assumed they hold dear and they above all else know their identities. Identity can be discussed and addressed in many different ways in many diverse media outlets. In the following analyze and critiqued essays by Bruno Bettelheim, Raymond Carver, and Jorge Luis Borges respectively the theme of identity is conferred by the phases of government, alteration, uncertainty, and realization. The first essay to be analyzed is Bruno Bettelheims.In the essay The Introduction to the Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim, the generator and psychologist discusses the number of functions that traditional and folk fag tales can and have served. He says in this work that fairy tales are crucial to children and their maturation because they encourage the development of the childrens identity. In a direct excerpt from his essay, this is directly addressed.Communicating in a manner which r each(prenominal)es the uneducated mind of the child as hygienichead as that of the sophisticated adult . . . airy tales carry important messages to the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind, on whatever level each is functioning at the clock. By transaction with universal human problems, particularly those which preoccupy a childs mind, these stories speak to his budding ego and encourage its development, while at the same time relieving preconscious and unconscious pressures (235). Here, the author descri bes how the fairy tales in question have been able to aide in the development of childrens psychological workings and, in turn, the establishment of the understanding of their self-identity.This is quite easily understood in remembrance of the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, which warns young boys and girls to avoid strangers as well as be extremely cautious when traveling alone. Fairy tales teach children that struggle against severe difficulties in flavor is unavoidable (237). Besides the reading of fairy tales, e very(prenominal) day experience also leads to the change in associative identity. In Raymond Carters Cathedral, there is a very subtle yet directly significant change in identity and understanding within the main character.The main character is a very assumptive man with very little more to say on a subject other than he likes or doesnt like it, almost as if he doesnt really care. When the blind friend named Robert of his wife visits, his entire perspective is cha nged. At the end, the line, My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. save I didnt feel like I was inside anything (126), the main character experiences Roberts world of seeing things without real seeing metaphorically, his eyes were opened while they were closed.The main character can now sharply understand that all his preconceived assumptions and notions were just stereotypes when, in reality, they life of the blind man might even be more fulfilling than that of those who can see normally. This essay is showing the alteration in identity within the main character because suddenly, he is open to the idea that Robert is nil that he assumed and is truly someone to revere and look up to. This changes his identity because ones mindset is directly related to the identity that one has. Another type of identity change occurs within the next essay.While there are two specific selected works by Jorge Luis Borges that are intimately associated with identity, the first to be discussed will be The Circular Ruins. In this essay, the author writes of a magician creating the perfect son within his mind and dreaming him into a type of existence separate from the waking life of the magician himself. In the end, he experiences something that changes his entire life and perspective of things. He recalled that, of all the creatures of the world, fire was the wholly one that knew his son was a phantom . . . ut then he knew that death was coming to crown his old age and absolve him of his labors. He walked into the shreds of flame.But they did not bite his flesh they caressed him and engulfed him without heat or combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he too was a mere appearance, dreamt by another (49 and 50). This is a explicit change in the magicians identity and the perfect representation of a revision to a previous identity. His encounter with the fire shows that he is actually a dream himself, not his son.This is a change in identity because what he thought was a real life and existence his entire life was actually the dream of another person on a different plane from him. His realization to this fact allows an entire transformation of character and identity as he will begin the road to coping with his new-found knowledge. This is significant because it reinforces the fact that what one person thought they were their entire lives could actually all be challenged and defeat in one brief and exact moment.Another way of challenging the identity of a person is through with(predicate) a spiritual enlightenment that leads to merely recognition of ones self. In the second analyzed essay by Jorge Luis Borges, there is a somewhat similar only when slightly neutered message of identity. In The Writing of the God, the main character Tzinacan is tortured and starved by the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado. Tzinacan goes through a change of identity when he suddenly goes through a stage of enlightenmen t from being imprisoned and left to his own devices in a sandy prison. . . there occurred union with the deity union with the universe. . .I saw a wheel of enormous height, which was not before my eyes, or behind them, or to the sides, but everywhere at once. This wheel was made of water, but also of fire, and although I could see its boundaries, it was infinite. It was made of all things that shall be, that are, and that have been, all intertwined, and I was one of the strands within that all-encompassing fabric. . . (253). This direct excerpt shows Tzinacans sudden moment of understanding and knowledge.Here, is an abrupt recognition that he is not one man with one status or one purpose but is preferably one with everything and nothing at once. His acknowledgment that he is linked with all things but without all those other things and parts to the universe, he ceases to exist at all. This is an drill of an alteration to identity because Tzinacan goes from being a high and mighty priest who was captured and tortured to simply another thread in universal web of occurrences with each creature created by a higher being. Identity is how we as human beings associate or disassociate ourselves with others.We find our own identity from life experiences and divide that identity from the pressures of society when compared to ones own strength of will. A young woman may dissipate her identity by the men she is gnarly with, or the young man might engorge his identity by the job promotion he just received and the luxurious cars he drives. These identities are ever-changing and expansive, within our own minds and within the population of history. From the fairy tales we are read as children to eye-opening events in our late-adulthood, each happenstance of personality or take to be helps shape who we are and who we portray ourselves to be.